Today we woke up to the sounds of the rooster and started off our day with breakfast at 8 am. A group of us got up early to go down to the pier for some exercise. After a delicious breakfast of pan frances and huevos rancheros, we went over the Outreach360 guidelines. By breaking up into different groups for each of the organization’s ten guiding principles, we came up with skits to perform for the greater group and thus understand them.
After learning all the guidelines, we headed out into the city for a tour where we visited local landmarks and learned a bit of the history of Monte Cristi. After working up our appetites on the tour, we sat down for a delicious lunch of chicken, rice, and beans.
Following lunch, we had a siesta where most of us took the time to rest after the busy morning. Next, we started our teaching orientation. We learned the acronym SCRAM: speak slowly, complete sentences, repetition, associate words with actions, and model syntax for them. This will help us to best teach the students English in a fully immersive environment. Then we divided into our separate teaching groups and started lesson planning with our assigned vocabulary for tomorrow, our first day with the kids.
After finishing our curriculum planning, we unpacked our donations and then had free time to explore the city in smaller groups. This gave us the chance to refresh ourselves with fresh tropical juices and ice cream from various shops and purchase our own snacks from the grocery store.
We headed home in time for a few games before dinner where we intermingled with the groups from other schools to get to know each other better. After dinner we changed into nicer clothes and headed to a church service to observe and appreciate the culture. –Straeten Avery
We started off our first full day in Monte Cristi with refreshingly cold navy-style showers and a delicious breakfast of French toast, scrambled eggs with vegetables, cantaloupe, and the best coffee we’ve ever had. We followed that up with “speed friending” ice breakers to get to know the groups from other high schools (Napa and Kent) and overviewed O360’s ten-point mission statement. We spent the majority of the morning hearing from different O360 volunteers on teaching techniques and the history of the program in the DR. After our orientation, our water bottles were filled and we set off for our tour of the town which highlighted all the local landmarks and the highly popular juice and ice cream stands where Mercera was very excited to see us American students. Lunch consisted of rice, beans, chicken, and “hush puppies”. Arguably the most important part of the day, we had an hour for a siesta!
After our hour of relaxation, we had time to create a lesson plan for tomorrow when we will be working in the public school. Each group was assigned an age group from preschool to 3rd grade, and we, once known as students, will become the teachers for the week. Once our lesson planning was complete, we had free time for another hour so most of the group decided to go stroll through the town once again to go to the grocery store, “Lilo’s”, where we had the chance to purchase unique foods from Monte Cristi. We make it back in time to the Outreach360 facility for dinner which comprised of fried eggs, pineapple, plantain, and yaka (no one knows the spelling for that word turns out). Later that night, we had the option to go to a church and see the service. It was very hot in the room, but it was very interesting experience filled with singing and small amounts of dancing. Overall it was a very enjoyable day, and everyone is looking forward to trying out their lesson plans tomorrow at the school. –Cameron Lloyd and Mia Gilley